Not by absinthe alone (or, “I’ll have one of everything”)

It’s as true now as it was then that diversification is a key ingredient to a successful business, particularly if you’re not one of the top two or three producers of whatever good or service you are offering. While most of us absinthe enthusiasts focus exclusively on that one particular liquor, most distilleries offered a wide range of products in addition to distilled absinthe. (Some even offered oil mixed absinthes, but we’ll discuss the different between oil mixed absinthe and distilled absinthe in a future post.)

Consider the A. Vichet distillery. This was a large distillery well-known for quality absinthe which was a bit on the sweet side (although I have personally only heard of a small handful of Vichet absinthe which have survived into modern times, and so sadly have not been able to get much information on how it has aged), and yet the name probably would not have had quite the same recognizability as Pernod Fils, Oxygénée, Berger, nor a few of the other distillers with “Pernod” in their name. It wouldn’t have made a lot of business sense to commit all of their resources to try to outdo the top two or three absinthe producers which had already established dominance, and so the Vichet offered a wide range of liquors and liqueurs (and even wines), as did most distilleries. From quinquina to creme de cacao, kirsch to curacao to cognac, Vichet offered pages of different liquid lovelies within the pages of its product brochure, oftentimes in both “top shelf” and “mid shelf” qualities.

See above for the cover of their product brochure number 28 (circa 1909), and below for the inside back cover illustration of the various bottles they offered for sale within the same brochure.


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